At a time when poverty and food are becoming the main preoccupation of development thinkers, this book is a major contribution to the discussion. Why poverty persists in spite of good growth rates is the issue. The diagnosis implied by the title is clearly and quite persuasively set forth in the introduction and first part, which should be read. The later analysis of evidence inevitably becomes more specialized and raises more controversial matters than can be judged in a short review. The bias, Lipton shows, is widespread; extrapolation from Western economic history, misleading.